If I Were a Carpenter, and You Were a Bag Lady

The most disgusting act of treachery against labor today must be the Brotherhood of Carpenters' practice of hiring homeless people to man picket lines instead of union members. Apparently their members can't be bothered; it's cheaper and more "convenient" to hire a desperate man at $8.00 an hour than ask a $20.00 an hour carpenter to walk his own damn line. And "the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is supposedly the only national union to crawl so low, but you can bet this will used as a canard against unions by every anti-labor lickspittle from here to Canarsie.

Taking advantage of the poor is a job for management, not labor. A dirty little sliver of rationalization tells me that the street people working the picket line could really use the $8.00, and who's to begrudge them any pittance--? But that's the line of sophistry that lets the apologists of capitalism excuse the Mexican border factories, and the hypocritical exploitation of illegal immigrants on this side of the border, and the insult of a $5.85 minimum wage.

They best not come to my neighborhood; our homeless people are organized. It seems to be the American consensus that anyone dumb enough to fall under the wheels of the system probably deserves what happens to them, and geeking for the Carpenters is a better gig for the homeless than scrounging for bottle deposits. Thus shit is transmuted to sugar. But before I concede, and smile and wink at such a crime against the soul, let my bones turn to dust with Joe Hill's, and mix with the sawdust, and choke the sanctimonious throats of the too-proud to picket members of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters.

No comments: